How to Get a Ton of New Subscribers to Your Blog

The goal of marketing is to attract more customers. Businesses make an enormous investment to get people in the doors the first time. But what happens after that?

A Digital Envelope - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/PashaIgnatov, Image #16463161

If the customer walks out the door, never to return, the investment is wasted. “Blood on the ground,” as they say. Instead, marketers want the customer to come back—and, hopefully, bring a few friends.

The same is true in the world of blogging. I have never yet met a blogger who didn’t want more traffic. Writers write to be read!

If that’s true for you, then you need to stop focusing on growing your traffic. Instead, you need to concentrate on growing your subscriber list.

Why? Because this list represents your hard-core followers—the ones who are more likely to recruit other readers. This means you don’t have to do it on your own. It is the difference between addition and multiplication.

At the beginning of this year, I realized that I had been guilty of this myself. I was trying to grow my traffic, but wasn’t paying attention to growing my list. I made the RSS button prominent and thought that was enough.

But after reading the advice of several professional bloggers, I realized that I needed to focus on building an email subscription list. From the bloggers perspective, an email list provides bloggers with several advantages over RSS subscriptions:

  • It is more personal. With email, you know who your subscribers are. It also moves the conversation from the impersonal world of RSS readers to the more personal environment of your reader’s inbox.
  • It provides more control. If Google has a glitch and deletes all my RSS subscribers, they are gone. There’s no way to get them back. With my email list management program, I can backup my subscribers on a regular basis.
  • It enables two-way communication. I use my real address when I send out my email newsletter. This enables people to reply and give me their feedback. That email comes straight to me and allows me to respond if necessary.
  • It enables you to track your effectiveness. With RSS, I know how many people subscribe, but I don’t know much beyond this. With my email list software, I have access to numerous reports. For example, I know how many actually opened the email, clicked on the links, unsubscribed, etc.
  • It gives you the opportunity to promote products. I haven’t done this yet, but I will, especially with my new book coming out in May. With RSS, I have to write a blog post to communicate with my subscribers. With email, I can send out a communique any time I want.
  • It provides an easy way to share your content. I have a lot of readers who share my posts on Facebook and Twitter. For that, I am grateful. But I still have thousands of readers who don’t use social media. With email, they can simply forward it to their friends.

Okay, so how do you actually build your email subscriber list? Let me tell you what I did.

Last March, I had just 2,771 email subscribers. That may sound like a lot—I don’t know. It probably depends on where you are. I didn’t think it was very impressive, given the fact that I was getting about 150,000 unique visitors a month. I didn’t seem to be converting many readers into subscribers.

However, in the last nine months, I have grown my list to 30,855 email subscribers (as of this writing). In the same period of time, I have doubled my blog’s traffic, reaching more than 310,000 unique visitors a month.

Here are the seven strategies I used to grow my email subscriber list:

  1. Generate content worth reading. I know this is basic, but I can’t emphasize it enough. No one will subscribe to something they don’t want to read. You have to write quality content—and leave them wanting more.
  2. Use a dedicated list subscription system. You can use Google’s free Feedburner service. In fact, I do use that for RSS. But it doesn’t provide the same level of control you get with paid services like MailChimp or AWeber, I personally use MailChimp. It’s pricey, but I love the control.
  3. Make your signup form highly visible. At the very least, it should be “above the fold,” preferably in the right-hand sidebar. Take a look at how the signup form is positioned on the CopyBlogger or ProBlogger sites. I choose to make mine a pop-up at the bottom of the page. I had my web developer write the code.
  4. Offer an incentive for subscribing. This was huge for me. I wrote an ebook called Creating Your Personal Life Plan and offered it free to anyone who would signup. If you want to consider doing something similar, I posted about the process previously. You could start with a series of posts you have written. Just format it as an e-Book.
  5. Design a branded email template. I hired a developer to design an email template in MailChimp. I wanted the “branding” to match my blog. I also wanted built-in social media buttons, so people could share my posts with their friends and followers. I wanted my subscribers to feel they were getting a high-quality product.
  6. Follow-up with your subscribers. I use MailChimp’s auto-responder feature to send out a welcome message after they confirm their subscription. I thank them for subscribing and tell them what to expect. After three weeks, I send out another message, again thanking them and inviting them to share my posts with their friends. By this time, I am hoping they have found value in what I write.
  7. Remind your readers to signup. My pop-up disappears after the first three times a reader visits. (I think it gets annoying after this.) As a result, I inserted a sign-up form at the bottom of each post. This serves as a reminder, once they have finished reading the post. It may take some people several posts before they get comfortable subscribing.

Your tactics may vary, depending on where you are as a blogger. Still, I think the principles I employed are applicable at every level. With a little focused effort—and perhaps a modest investment of time and money—you can dramatically increase the number of people who subscribe to your blog.

While you are at it, go ahead and subscribe to my blog and see how the pieces all fit together.

Question: What can you apply from this to your blog? What do you need to do next? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.revivallifestyle.com Daniel Vogler

    Such a great Post Michael! My experience with RSS is similar to yours. I’ve been using Google Feedburner Email Subscription ever since I launched my Blog 7 months ago and could see that most of the subscribers weren’t clicking through to my blog. I just started using Mailchimp 2 weeks ago, launched a Giveaway and doubled my number of subscribers in one week! Now I can send out personalized emails, that are way more engaging!
    Btw: I love what you’re doing and how your voice is relevant even to people outside the Body of Christ. That’s the kind of impact I’m hoping to have on the world a few years down the road.
    Thanks for your inspiration and transparency!
    Blessings,
    Daniel

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing your story, Daniel. And for your kind words!

    • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

      What if I don’t have anything to give away to attract subscribers? Is there anything else I can do to get people to sign up?  (I haven’t started an email letter yet, but have been thinking about it). 

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        You may have more than you think. You could collect a group of your posts and create an ebook. You could offer free access to a discussion forum you create. You could also offer a chance to win something free. (Make sure you research sweepstakes laws, so you don’t run afoul of them.)

        • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

          Thanks for the suggestions, those are some great things to think about!

        • http://www.praverb.net/ Patrick McNease

          Great suggestions @mhyatt:disqus

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        I have been giving away free ads every month on my blog as well as some books…

        • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

          That’s interesting, I never thought about giving away ads, how does that work?

        • http://www.revivallifestyle.com Daniel Vogler

          That’s a great idea, Brandon!

      • Anonymous

        I have been thinking about started to give away books (That others have written). I write book reviews and it would be as simple as to buy an extra book  then give it away.

        • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

          Good idea! I might try that as well to generate traffic flow. I have heard of several people doing similar things. Michael Hyatt suggested putting together several posts in an ebook and giving those away. I don’t know anything about publishing ebooks, but that is also a thought.
          I wonder if it might be better to have two-three bloggers put together an ebook based on popular posts and then give those away?

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      Giveaways are a great way to increase traffic! I have been giving away free ads every month on my blog as well as some books…

    • http://twitter.com/CoachTheresaIF Theresa Ip Froehlich

      Daniel,

      I’ve heard about MailChimp but haven’t acted on setting it up. Thank you for your testimony.

      Coach Theresa

      • http://www.revivallifestyle.com Daniel Vogler

        Hi Theresa,
        Go for it! I’ve heard several times that email newsletter usually bring the highest click through rates and am experiencing it myself as well. Seems to be the best way to bring people back to your site. 

  • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

    When I read about getting a ‘reader’ become a ‘subscriber’, it reminds me of the church analogy – getting a ‘visitor’ become a ‘member’. Visitors are good. It shows that there’s something good happening in the church. But when a visitor becomes a member, it shows that he/she has caught it’s vision and passion!

    It’s the same with blogs. ‘Readers’ (visitors) are good. We like them. They like us. But ‘subscribers’ (members) are vital. They make the community! They are the ones who carry the message out to the highways and byways of social media. They make the blog thrive!

    Thanks Michael for this good reminder to go for the core!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I wish I had thought of that. It’s a great analogy!

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      Very cool!

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com Patricia Zell

    Again, perfect timing, Michael–thank you. This post went immediately to my favorites bar. I haven’t been able to put much time into my blog over the last several months, so I have been thinking about getting back to it. (Even though I haven’t posted for quite a while, I still have between 800 and 11oo visitors per week–I know that pales in comparison to your traffic, but it does tell me that there is interest out there.) One thing I have been thinking about is building an e-mail list (in some things, I am tech-disabled), and I had no idea how to go about it. So, this post is just what I needed to read!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Just imagine if you convert 10% of those to subscribers. If you at 80 to 100 people on your team that would be awesome! Big things always start small. Remember Gideon?

      • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com Patricia Zell

        Thanks, Michael! I really, really have some serious work to do with my blog and book. I do realize I’m going to need some help with the tech and marketing issues, so I am believing God will nudge me towards the people who can meet those needs.

      • Zoe Douglas-Judson

        Great subtle words for action and driving motivation!

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I’m only two months into my blog but this is great information.

    Two of your ideas that I could use are Offer An Incentive and Make The Form Highly Visible. I know incentives work as people like free things.

    The one I’m hung up on is Using A Dedicated List Subscription System. I almost feel like I should be using one from the beginning. Yet I hesitate because of the cost. I’m not bringing in any money and my list is tiny. Would you recommend having a dedicated list subscription system right out of the gate?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Keep in mind that you can start small. The pricing scales with the number of subscribers you have. For example, MailChimp is free if you have less than 2,000 subscribers. The free version limits you to sending 12,000 total email messages. You can read more here.

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Thanks for the information Michael. I just signed up and am excited to use it.

        Do you have any suggestions on moving over current email subscribers to MailChimp?

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          Yes. You can automatically enter them into the subscription field. Just make sure you post a blog or something about it letting them know that they are now added to MailChimp…I love mailchimp, but I haven’t started using it yet for my personal blog. I have used it for other email things.

          • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

            Thanks for the info Brandon. I’m looking forward to using MailChimp.

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            awesome!

            _____

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Sorry, I’m afraid I don’t. I think it should be invisible to them.

      • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

        Thanks for this follow-up. 

  • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

    Perfect timing for me as well.  Thank you for such actionable content!

  • http://elevationlife.com Bryan Thompson

    Michael, this was excellent. I have used MailChimp for over a year now and love it! The flexibility and customization are incredible! It looks like other bloggers have begun making the jump from Feedburner. I still use Feedburner for my RSS subscriptions. I think where I run into challenges is that I don’t want to overcrowd my sidebar with too many buttons. I like to keep it simple. Thanks for sharing such great info for free!

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      Both are great!

  • http://www.warriorshepherd.com/blog Dave Hearn

    I just started using MailChimp as well for subscribers… although there is a bit of a learning curve with it.  I am trying to customize as much as possible without sending my subscribers too much “junk” mail…

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      The balance with that is important…

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

    Yet another Michael Hyatt suggestion applied. I added a direct email subscribe button to my social media navigation. You’re absolutely right!

  • http://twitter.com/moretobe Lisa

    I appreciate your concise and practical tips!

    Lisa

    http://www.moretobe.com

  • http://www.linchpinbloggers.com/ Don McAllister

    Fantastic post! Thanks Michael for sharing. I find the free ebook incentive idea to be something very important in this process. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I agree. I know many, many bloggers who have succeeded with this. Thanks.

      • http://www.linchpinbloggers.com/ Don McAllister

        Jeff Goins and his free manifesto, copyblogger and their free email courses are two prime examples that also come to mind.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Free seems to always attract. Now I need to compile an ebook to give away.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        Definitely! I released mine a few weeks ago, and it went over well…

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

          Nice! While I don’t play guitar(though I own one) it looks interesting.

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            You should start playing…considering that you own one! :)

            _____

          • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

            I know, I know… I’ve probably had the guitar for over 15 years, took a few lessons… Just never fully committed to playing it. Maybe that can be a goal for this year.

          • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

            For sure!

            _____

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      I did it, and it really helped my blog! My ebook is here: http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com/ebooks

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Informative post, Michael. My RSS traffic has been static for years, currently around 2100. It seems to have a mind of its own even though my regular traffic has grown 150%. I’ve been using AWeber for over 5 years, but I haven’t offered the incentive of an e-book yet. I guess it is the complexity and number of steps that keeps me from completing it. AWeber has always been difficult for me. It’s just not intuitive.

    Mail Chimp looks good, but it gets rather expensive once you get a lot of subscribers. I have a grandfathered price from AWeber that is really good. This looks like a project for my next vacation. I think the secret is to offer a good incentive like you have.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think that is the secret, John.

      I agree that MailChimp seems expensive. I balked at first, too. But, hopefully, you can generate more revenue with a larger email list that will offset the cost.

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        Do you know of anyone who has had success with AWeber? Last time I logged in, it looked like they have improved the interface some, but I’ve always had trouble with their implementation.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I think ProBlogger uses it, but I am not sure. I reviewed the interface to write this post and wasn’t impressed. But I didn’t go very deep.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      I would do the ebook. I did it, and it really helped my site! If you wanna check it out, you can find it here: http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com/ebooks

  • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

    I’ve been a subscriber, both RSS and email, for years. The only thing with the email subscription is I know I’ll see your post in Google Reader, so I usually mark it as read and archive it right away. I usually get to the folder your email goes into after I’ve caught up my feeds. 

    One thing I do appreciate are the emails from Discuss. I don’t understand why more bloggers don’t use this. I leave comments on a lot of blogs, but if there’s no way to know if someone replies, I never think to go back and check. Discuss allows me to interact with a lot of blogs through only one account. Bloggers who insist you create an account on their site just to comment rather than using software like Discuss are becoming a pet peeve of mine. I need another website account like I need another traffic jam on my way to work.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree with this. I credit Disqus with a lot of my growth this last year. I think it has created a more engaged community and way more comments.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ayomide.akinkugbe Ayomide Akinkugbe

        Great Post! But I find this hard relating it to increasing followers through blogger. I incoporated Disqus with my blog earlier this year, Yes the traffic kind of increased but the commenting has been a crawl still. Really I’m running out of Ideas. Sometimes I feel no one is reading and yes I do the hard work of making my post relevant. Really what can I do?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt
          • http://www.facebook.com/ayomide.akinkugbe Ayomide Akinkugbe

            Oh Yes I have. In fact I saved it on my iPad (via Offline pages) and it’s one I go back to every now and then.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I just took a quick look at your blog. One thing you could do immediately, Ayomide, that would improve your results is change your design.
          Forgive me for being blunt, but the white text on a black background makes it almost impossible to read. Any designer worth his salt will tell you never do this except in situations (like some ads) where you have a very limited amount of text.
          In addition, I would bump up the size of your text font. It, too, makes your posts difficult to read.
          If your design makes your posts difficult to read, you won’t attract readers, no matter what else you may do.
          I hope this helps.

          • http://www.facebook.com/ayomide.akinkugbe Ayomide Akinkugbe

            Oh I really appreciate this! Thanks so much. I really have been thinking of that but I don’t know what to do to get a new design. In fact I went through a lot to get that design personally done. All I’m left with are the default blogger designs and theyaren’t so unique. I’ve really been thinking on what to do about the fonts and all (a friend made a similar comments some months back). Thanks once again Michael but really I have no clue on what to do to change that still.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            My two cents: I would use a default design if you have to. Do you want to be unique or do you want to be read? Build your audience, then you can tweak your design later.

          • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

            I’ve been on blogger since 2004. At one point, I had a 3rd party template, but the next time blogger updated, I had to get rid of it in order to use some new features. That’s a big drawback with blogger. They’re usually behind the curve on some features like 3 column and split post, and updates tend to break customizations you’ve put in. I had a Typepad blog for a couple years, but I got laid off and didn’t want to put the money into a renewal until my income was stable.

        • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

          I think part of the problem is being on blogger. I’m on blogger too. I’ve seen people on blogger get tons of traffic, but I’ve never been able to achieve it. I wrote one post more than 4 years ago that brings in most of my traffic, but nobody stays around. Most of the “experts” claim having your own site is better.

    • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

      I like Discuss, I just  don’t think I use it right? 
      When I post on anothers site (like this one) I can see replies to my posts through Discuss, however it does not alert me to when someone posts on my blog.  This is frustrating because there are times I have clicked through old posts and seen a comment made that I wasn’t aware of, something I should have replied to.    
      Through my blog I can generally see what posts are being hit on, then I can go back and check to see if there were any comments, but this can be time consuming. 
      What am I doing wrong?

      • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

        TCAvey, I checked your blog. I don’t think you have Discuss installed, or Blogger broke it.  I had it running on my blog until Blogger started rolling out their “Dynamic” displays, and ever since I’ve had a lot of trouble with it. I’ve rerun the script twice, but it doesn’t seem to stick. I’ve debated on getting my own site. I just don’t feel like spending the money and dealing with the hassle of administration.

        • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

          Thank you for taking a peak at my blog. I will look into it further (and have my husband look at it since he is better at technology).
          I have thought about spending the money as well but don’t feel it is worth the cost at this time. I don’t have a large enough following to justify the money. I’ll keep using this, hopefully though I can get this Discus thing to work properly.
          Thanks again for the assistance! Have a Merry Christmas!

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        You need to go into your Disqus account, edit your profile and make sure your notifications are set to notify you when someone replies to one of your posts.

        • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

          I think I have this in place? The only thing I don’t have checked to send me are notifications to when my comments on other sites are approved. When I first started using this (and noticed this problem) I tried uninstalling Discus and re-installing it but didn’t help.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Eric, I agree. Disqus is one of the best commenting tools one could use.

      I started my blog with Disqus and I receive quite a few comments. It may be Disqus, my call to action, or both. I do like Disqus’ emails regarding replies. However, I wish it would send emails for a reply to a reply someone else had left.

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      I agree! I really want wordpress.com to have this capability!

      • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

        It does. Michael Hyatt uses a self-hosted WordPress installation. I have a free WordPress blog, but it doesn’t allow monetization (like that’s worked so well for me over the years…)

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          Oh…so can you use Disqus with wordpress.com?

          _____

          • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

            I believe so. You can check with the installation page on your dashboard. http://disqus.com/admin/register/ It should give you the installation instructions. WordPress has a pretty decent comment engine.

  • http://www.godspeakstoday.net Sandy@godspeakstoday

    Thank you for this very relevant information.  I have two main issues that preclude me from adapting some of these changes in my blog.  The first is time.  And the second is expertise.  Over the last 3 1/2 years of blogging, I’ve learned my way around Blogger and Feedblitz through trial and error.  I am at the place where I know I have taken my blog as far as I can on my own.  I need help–a techy person who can show me how to take things to the next level and really build my subscribers, and thus, my platform.

    How do I go about finding these techy people?  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I would leave comments like this on some of the professional blogger sites and communities like CopyBlogger, ProBlogger, and TentBlogger. All three are excellent.

      • http://www.godspeakstoday.net Sandy@godspeakstoday

        Thanks, Micheal.  I will.  :)

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          Tentblogger is awesome!

  • Anonymous

    A lot of great advice here! We recently put more focus on our email subscribers as well and have seen some phenomenal results. Three things we did that have helped: 

    1) Have something of value to give away. We created an ebook called the “Simple Blog Business Plan.”  
    2) We converted our home page to an attractive “call to signup” page
    3) Placed a call to sign up at the end of the post like Michael recommends

    In my experience, getting traffic to your site is one accomplishment, but capturing traffic is a whole new level.  You are able to continue the conversation with people, speak into their lives, and build trust and authority. 

    Jonathan

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I love your blog, Jonathan. You are doing a great job! Thanks for your kind words and helpful information. I have thought about converting my home page as well.

  • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

    Wow! Thanks foe sharing. I think we’ll have some busy bloggers heading to update their email subscription incentive.

    I’ve got to be more personal with the email subscribers.

  • http://twitter.com/KellyCombs Kelly Combs

    I love the subscriber idea and have begun doing in the past year, as a friend told me that she was interested in reading my blog but “forgot” to visit.  Getting an email in her inbox kept her a faithful fan.

    My google followers show I have 182 followers, but my actual blog hits are much lower, showing that folks aren’t coming to visit even if they “follow.”  I think putting more emphasis on delivering right to their email is key.  Thanks.

    • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

      I’m a bit confused Kelly,  I have read to use email as a “News Letter”, to offer information they can’t get on your blog.
      Are you talking about this regarding email, or about them signing up for email notifications when you post new content? 
      I have had similar experiences with friends saying they “forget”.  I remind them they can subscribe to be reminded by email, but few of them actually do that to my knowledge. 
      I don’t use email as a News Letter just yet, but am thinking of doing that.
      Any advice you have to help clear up my confusion is appreciated!
      Thanks and have a great day! 

      • http://twitter.com/KellyCombs Kelly Combs

        I use feedburner so readers can subscribe to my blog.  Then my blog entries, in the form of email, go right to their inbox. This is especially helpful if, like me, you don’t blog every day.  If can be annoying for readers to “keep checking” if you’ve updated your blog.  The email subscription let’s them relax and wait for the post to come to them.

        Similarly, I subscribe to Michael Hyatt’s blog and get an email of his entire blog post.  Then I can read it and decide if I want to click over and comment, or skip that day.   

        I do not do a newsletter, but have captured the email addresses from the feedburner subscriptions, so if I ever do a newsletter I have a “captive audience.”  Hope this helps, TCAvey!

        • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

          Thanks, that does help clarify.

  • http://www.worshipteamcoach.com Jon Nicol

    Michael, great stuff and timely. I use mailchimp as an update/newsletter, but haven’t yet figured out how to use it as a sign up for blog delivery. I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, since I read blogs emailed to me (you, Seth, etc.) but never read my RSS feeds. This will be worth looking into. Thanks for the kick in the rear.  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You can connect your RSS feed directly to MailChimp. Once you get it set-up, you never have to fool with it again. Whenever I post a new blog entry, it automatically sends out an email to my subscribers. Totally automated.

      • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

        …and that email totally works – I rarely leave one of your emails unopened – always great content, and I know that if I want to search on info about social media, blogging, evernote, leadership….I can come to your site and dig up a ton of great advice. Thanks Michael!   

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Thanks, Donna. I appreciate that!

      • http://allthingsloss.com Kevin Mackesy

        Dang…I was using MailChimp but didn’t like that I had to manually create and send out the email every time I posted so I ditched it for the generic Subscribe2 plug-in.  I didn’t know I could set it up to be automated and I’ve already had my subscribers re-enter their email and go through the approval process for the new subscription service.  I think asking them to re-do it again might be too much.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I think you can switch without them ever knowing. I did. Export your subscribers then re-import them into MailChimp.

          • http://allthingsloss.com Kevin Mackesy

            Brilliant idea, thank you!  Maybe next could be a quick tutorial on connecting mailchimp to rss??

            You’re a boss, Michael!

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Thanks for sharing that you can add the RSS feed to MailChimp. I was wondering if it was possible.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome! I know for sure YOUR content keeps me coming back. My goal is to create great content and I will use some of the tips you’ve suggested. Thanks!

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    You haven given me much to think about.  I have thought about doing this a few times, but so far haven’t found the time to make it a priority. 
    My questions/reservations: 
    1.  How many times to I need to send out an email- one/week, one/month?
    2.  Is it okay to start out with the free option in MailChimp?  I don’t currently have money to invest? 
     

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Once you hook MailChimp up to your RSS feed, you don’t need to think about it. Every time you post on your blog, MailChimp will send out a new message.
      Yes, I recommend starting with the free version of MailChimp.

      • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

        Do you not use MailChimp to also send out a news letter via email to your subscribers? I have read that is a great way to get them involved, you can offer readings on things you don’t normally post about.

      • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

        I am currently struggling to get FeedBurner to work on WordPress (non self hosted) so I am going to try MailChimp

  • Lynne Maukonen

    Just wanted to say something I have been thinking for a long time – that your blog is the most visually appealing one of the very many that I receive. Thank you for making it appealing for me to open up, time after time! The consistently high quality of content is obviously a real bonus, too :-)

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      +1 I have to agree with that statement. The fact that I don’t follow any other blogs emphasizes that point.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Wow. Thank you for that!

  • HoosierHomemade

    I use Feedblitz and love the control also. I have several different newsletters, for each category, that way if someone wants only baking or only decorating, they can subscribe to those newsletters. 
    Thanks for sharing Michael!
    ~Liz@HoosierHomemade:twitter 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I used to use FeedBlitz. I just found the interface outdated and the reports a little clunky. But, if it’s working for you, great!

  • http://paulcoughlin.com Paul Coughlin

    Thanks Michael – the distinction between rss and email – highlighted as a distinction between one-way and two-way connection – is key for me.

    Anything which builds relationship and interactivity rather than simple connection – is heading in the right direction..

  • Rob Sorbo

    I love my RSS reader and blogs that try to use this e-mail only approach really kind of annoy me. Since I enjoy this blog so much, I actually look forward to that e-mail now, but I get annoyed at the few other blogs I read that follow this tactic.

    That said, I do engage more with your blog than any other blog I follow. However, I think this is because of the stellar content and the sidebar that directs me to other posts.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I agree. That’s one of the reasons I still offer the RSS option and feature it prominently (top, right sidebar). I get really annoyed when you have to hunt for this on people’s blogs.

  • http://golfwisdomlife.com Larry Galley

    Thanks Michael, not sure where I’m going with this post but sure I want to go.  Thanks for your generous heart and the gifts you continue to give me.

    Most appreciatively,

    Larry Galley

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bryan-Van-Slyke/653293402 Bryan Van Slyke

    Great points. I recently finished reading ‘Barefoot Executive’ and she mentioned the same thing about list building. I have worked on the social media process for a few months now, but generating lists would be a great place to start next year!

  • http://twitter.com/MissTramTran Tram tran

    Michael, this is really cool, I love your writing style, I’m trying Mail Chimps at the moment and it looks very pro, Will definitely be back for more great content on your blog=)

  • http://www.nginaotiende.blogspot.com Ngina Otiende

    I am on Blogger and been using feedburner for RSS/blog subscription but not for email subscription. I have been thinking of how else  to increase traffic and build a dedicated community (on top of creating great content and moving to WordPress) and building an email list is one of them. 

    Your post is just on time. 

    (One of the things I like your blog Michael is that you don’t give mere stories but actually provide practical how-to answers. For example I don’t need to go look for something you said…I just click on the link you provide! God bless you!)

    As mentioned, I want eventually move to WordPress (though am afraid to loose some things from my current blog in the change over) but am glad to see that there is something I can do with my current blog using feedburner or free version of Mailchimp.

    thanks again Michael.

    • http://www.facebook.com/ayomide.akinkugbe Ayomide Akinkugbe

      Been thinking crossing over to WordPress.com too. Blogger is limiting in some sense. And Ngina, I just checked out your blog, cool and I must say it’s bold. I followed right away. I hope to connect more with you :)
      P.S – I blog @ The Voice (www.ayomidestephens.blogspot.com)

      • http://www.nginaotiende.blogspot.com Ngina Otiende

        Thank you for reading and following Ayomide :)

        Read your blog  – awesome work you are doing over at “The Voice”. 

        I particularly enjoyed Elevation Worship track :) 

  • http://www.marydemuth.com Mary DeMuth

    I echo everything you said. I used to get about 5-10 subscribers a week, but now it’s 50-100 because I offer a free ebook and a 6 part healing from the past audio download series to new subscribers.

    I try to cultivate trust with my newsletter list. I create great content, the kind folks want to pass on. And I do promote from time to time, but I make that fairly rare so my readers don’t see me as a multi level marketer.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You do an excellent job, Mary. Thanks.

      • http://www.marydemuth.com Mary DeMuth

        Thanks for the encouragement. BTW, I had my coders create a catfish banner like yours (They call those pop up banners on the bottom, bottom feeders or catfish). That also increased my subscriptions.

        I’d love to see you write a post about blog sponsorship, as I haven’t explored that yet.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Thanks, Mary. I haven’t heard of that term before. I like your implementation.
          With regard to blog sponsorship, are you talking about my tweet earlier today? If so, I am still ion the exploration phase. I am on a major binge to simplify my life, and I thought having, in essence, one advertiser—a sponsor—would be simpler for my readers, for me, and more powerful for the sponsor.

          • http://www.marydemuth.com Mary DeMuth

            Yes, that tweet from today. I look forward to your findings about it. Keep exploring! :)

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            I will. I am on “a five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no blogger has gone before.” Oh wait. That was Star Trek!

          • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

            I can see the new e-book now… Create your personal Blog-Plan… Are you ready to write your blog on purpose? Certain to be a best seller!

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Ha! The good stuff will be in the Platform book.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EWBNZ6YNARCYIV25PXS7HQZAEY Justin

    I agree with everything you said.  I would also like to see a “e-mail the writer” button or link.  It is one way of communicating with a reader before they have to subscribe.  This also cuts down on the unsubscribers.

  • Anonymous

    Hello Michael

    I just copied this post on several of the LinkedIn groups I belong to, (asking for forgiveness rather than permission) as there have been several discussions about KLOUT scores, how it works, are they important….   My response, (while I investigate KLOUT – algorithms) to the groups is to focus on what you do best and those items which you are credible and those things that will matter to an audience, rather than follow a “score” that can mean absolutely nothing.

    This post truly reflects that.  BTW told them they should sign up for your e-mail subscription.

    Regards

    walt

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for doing that!

  • http://www.MARIMethod.com Mari Ann Lisenbe

    Very impressive stats, Michael.  Thanks for the great ideas. 

    What “pop-up” utility do you use? I’ve not yet added one to my blog because I find them annoying when they continue to popup on a blog I’m already subscribed to.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I actually had mine written. Mine stops popping up once you subscribe.

  • http://www.cheriblogs.info Cheri Gregory

    From speaking engagements, I’ve built an e-mail address list that I use to send out newsletters and surveys, both with strong open and click-through rates. 

    However, only a small handful of my newsletter readers have engaged with my blog. I think my next step is to finally develop that free eBook. I need that extra incentive to encourage my regular newsletter readers — as well as new visitors — to subscribe to my blog via e-mail.

    I suspect that deciding developing my eBook will help me better narrow the focus of my blog, too.

  • Rick Smith

    Michael, I absolutely love the new book idea.  Perfect space, catchy title and big, unserved market.  I have books published in 2004 and 2009, and the difference was night and day.  All of the control went away.  You cannot use traditional means to get attention any more.  For the second book, I did everything and more that I did for the first one, but the old methods simply fell flat.  The second still hit the bestseller list, but only because of the new media things I had done.  I very much look forward to it. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks so much!

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    I’m doing pretty well on the email front. I’ve been blogging for a little over two years, and I just scored my 10th subscriber (but only if I include myself). The incentive I offer is that these emails are free. 

    One tip: you may want to create content that appeals to folks in the South-East in particular (MS, LA, KY, TN), because the more you focus on areas with high obesity rates, the fewer new subscribers will amount to a ton. 

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    I’m struggling to setup e-mail updates but I’ll get it soon!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I know it is a pain to get setup, but, fortunately, once you do, it is on auto-pilot.

  • Anonymous

    I’m curious…when you’ve referred to blog subscribers who chose email in the past, I was thinking you used feedblitz.  Is the email list you’re referring to here different than your normal post?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I used to use FeedBlitz, but I ditched it for MailChimp. It is performing the same function. I just was unhappy with the FeedBlitz interface and reporting.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    My next step is to develop an email subscription setup.  I’ve got the basics in place but haven’t advertised it yet due to time constraints, and some other questions, such as how to set up an automatic email of my blog posts.  If that’s even possible.  How do you approach that?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, you can setup automatic email of your blog posts. That’s all I have done here. You just connect your RSS feed and go.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Good to know.  I’ll be looking into that more in the very near future.  Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/scottjedwards Scott Edwards

    Great info! This may also seem obvious but because I’ve seen it, it must not be obvious to everyone. I subscribed to an email list that had great content for a year but then just resent previous posts over and over that were sent a year prior. It was clear that only computers were involved at that point. Be careful of how you use automated features. Don’t just set it and forget or you will be forgotten.  Thanks Michael for great, fresh, and relevant content!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I totally agree with that comment, Scott. Thanks.

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Currently, I am trying to be consistent in blogging. Iam learning to blog with quality content. I believe I need to be more intentional in marketing my blog. Thanks for your ideas Mike!

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I am very excited to have 8 email followers. I even know some of them (such as my father-in-law) email it on to others. I have been pretty impressed with my monthly views since I started blogging regularly at the end of September. But it was when people started subscribing by email that I got very excited!
    I think the next steps I need to take are to look into something like Feedburner as well as making my subscription button more visible. This post has been very helpful as well as encouraging. Thanks!

  • http://everydaysnapshots.com Dave Anthold

    This is fantastic stuff.  I have used MailChimp for a targeted email newsletter while on a missions trip – this way people could get specific prayer requests that I did not want to put on my blog.

    As far as application, I think the best one is the “free gift” offer for subscribing.  I am looking at this particular option for some of my photo stuff & then another venture I am working on.  I will keep this info handy.  Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Michael — Valuable post. I’m trying to figure this out, and this is another great ‘share.’ I get something great every time I come here. (And I’m now a happy subscriber). Thank you!

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I’ve signed up for Mailchimp. Now I’m a little confused about my email list. I’ve added them to a Mailchimp list, but now how do I get future subscribers to subscribe there and not just get the WordPress email?

  • http://workoptions.com/ Pat Katepoo

    People DO need reminding to take action. I will add the reminder at the end of each post. Next, the ebook incentive. And based on the comments, I’ll reconsider using Disqus. Thanks for the clarity of steps.

  • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

    Thanks for this, Mike. Truly an example to follow.

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    Greta post! I currently have 43 email subscribers, but a lot more RSS and things like that… I feel that I could reach more email subscribers.

    By the way, Mailchimp is free. You only have to pay when you get the premium which allows for more email subscribers and options. The free option for smaller blogs is a great option!

  • http://twitter.com/DonnaPyleTX Donna Pyle

    I put several of your bullet pointed items to work TODAY. Mainly, tomorrow’s post will offer a PDF of my 4-lesson Christmas Bible study, “One Extraordinary Night”, absolutely free to anyone who subscribes via email to my blog for the rest of December. Thanks so much for sharing great suggestions born out of your blogging experience. It is appreciated more than you know! Blessings.

  • http://www.freelancewritingdreams.com Samantha Gluck

    What a great post. I’m so happy to discover your awesome leadership website! My readership and subscribers to my medical site grew sort of organically, but my newest site (launched in September) seems to be lagging so far behind. Maybe I just need patience. I’m working on a contest for FWD (my newest site) in which I’ll give away books written by home office expert, Lisa Karnak, among other things. Hopefully, that will get things going! 

  • http://www.hartlineliterary.com Diana Flegal

    Crazy numbers there Michael. Kudos to you. And thank you for offering always such great advise. I always pass it along to my authors. BTW I get your feed into my email and it def works on my end of things. :-) Have a great day!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for passing it along to others. I’m glad it is working for you!

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    Do you have a pop up subscription form on your website? I’ve never seen it. Also, was it pricey for you to the subscribe form at the bottom of your posts? 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, but you won’t see it if you already subscribe or if you have ever clicked the “close” button. It goes away permanently.
      Do be honest, I can’t recall what I paid, because I had him doing a bunch of other development work for me. If I were you, I’d try to find a plugin first.

      • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

        Ok – thanks for the help. 

  • http://struggletovictory.wordpress.com Kari Scare

    This is the week I move my blog to a self-hosted platform. I’m very nervous about it for some reason. My next step is to establish an subscriber list based on the steps you outlined. I’m nervous about that too, but I’m less nervous than I was before I read this post. Thank you for making it seem so simple. I’m on my own with this, and having posts like this as well as the ensuing comments help me feel less alone. Thank you.

  • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

    I have incorporated a number of your recommendations (free offers, signup in upper right corner, etc.), but it is still a slow go for a steady stream of people signing. I’m only one year into blogging, so I’m definitely taking the long view.

    One question: You mentioned in a previous post that you use Feedblitz for your template for your RSS feed and the template is professionally designed, correct?

    Is it the same one you’re using with MailChimp?

    I’ve actually found the Feedblitz design tool to be quite wonky and outdated compared to other email services I’ve used before. Thanks for clarifying feedblitz/mailchimp templates.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I switched from FeedBlitz to MailChimp. I am no longer using FeedBlitz at all. My web developer design the email template, using my existing branding. Thanks!

      • http://www.joeyo.org Joey O’Connor

        Awesome…thanks for clarifying!

  • http://www.distractedbyprayer.blogspot.com Shannon @ Distracted by Prayer

    I just added this feature and am very pleased to see people signing up who weren’t interested in the “followers” feature.  Now I’m wondering if I should delete the followers feature all together.  Any thoughts?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You might leave both, so people have an option, but explain what each one does in a post.

      • http://www.distractedbyprayer.blogspot.com Shannon @ Distracted by Prayer

        Great idea!  Maybe even a survey to get a bit more information on their decision.

    • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

      Not sure if this helps but I’ve noticed some people don’t offer a followers feature and I personally like that feature better than email because I already get so many emails that I don’t need more crowding my inbox, but that is just my personal preference.

      I think Michael is right in having both options because everyone has their own preferences.    

  • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

    I use mailchimp as well and already implement a few of the seven steps. For me, I need to offer something of value. Thank you for the helpful info, I read blogs like socialtriggers.com or smartpassiveincome.com and they highly recommend building your email list.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I had not heard of Smart Passive Income. I just subscribed. It looks great! Thanks.

      • http://talesofwork.com kimanzi constable

        Pat Flynn is awesome, he’s real and he gives information freely (just like yourself)I believe that’s why he’s so succesful. He also has an awesome podcast with all kinds of things for people who want to do business online.

  • http://www.ryanhanley.com/2011/11/29/how-small-business-can-leverage-social-media-to-fight-back-against-their-big-business-competitors/ Ryan Hanley

    Michael,

    Are your email subscribers people who receive your blog posts by email or are you talking about a separate Newsletter with original content?

    I think this is a great post… I am obviously a huge fan.

    Thanks,

    Ryan H.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, my email subscribers are those who receive my blog posts via email. However, I can send them additional content or promotions, too.

      • http://www.ryanhanley.com/2011/11/29/how-small-business-can-leverage-social-media-to-fight-back-against-their-big-business-competitors/ Ryan Hanley

        Thanks Michael!

        I’ve always been interested in that because I don’t push the blog post email… Instead I push my Newsletter which is original content from my blog… 

        Which is significantly less frequent in posting.  

        Thanks!

  • Jodi

    I need to add an incentive for to subscribe. As I’ve considered this lately, though, I’ve wondered #1: When I do this, do those who have previously subscribed also get the incentive?  #2: Is building a subscription for my blog a higher priority than starting a newsletter and builing a platform with that?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I would offer it to all your existing subscribers. I sent out an email message to them (via MailChimp) and told them that I would be making the ebook available in a week. I then asked for them to comment and give me their endorsement if they liked it.
      Personally, I would start with your blog. Thanks.

      • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

        Good advice, thank you.

    • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

      I have been wondering the same things, I am praying about it. 
      I have read that starting a News Letter will help build your blog, but I just don’t have the time for that currently.  

  • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

    Michael,
    This is one of the best posts you have ever done.  Great content backed up with personal illustrations. Fantastic!
     Thanks!

  • http://enreachinglives.blogspot.com/ jamie

    I have just started a new blog with a mission of en(reach)ing lives and I’m grateful for this post. If it’s not too much to ask, Michael, would be it alright to take some of your time to check out and see where I can improve?

    Much appreciated, thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m sorry, Jamie, but I don’t have the time to individual consultations.

  • Rhershberger

    Micheal being new to this whole thing of Social Media (Networking), ‘See I’m not even  sure what it is called’.  I truly do thank-you for all of your input and advice.  Keep up the good work!

  • http://twitter.com/waterfallbooks Katie Hart

    I personally never use email subscriptions when there is an RSS reader option available. I get too much email as it is, and most either are a less than a minute skim and delete, or require replies. I don’t want to pause my email managing to read a 5-minute post. Even filtering blogs into a separate folder would remain annoying, as I’d have to scroll down to find the last unread email post from a particular blog so I can read them in order. When I go to my RSS reader, I expect to read and be informed. I can see at a glance when a blog has updated, and whether there are more than one to read.

    However, your post makes the excellent point that email subscribers can be more engaged. I’m sure many of my blog’s readers don’t have a dedicated RSS reader and would prefer emails. I’ll look into incorporating that into my site.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I agree with you. This is how I read most blogs. However, with the exception of techies (like us!), I have met very few people who even know what an RSS reader is. That’s why I like to provide options.

  • Anonymous

    Great points. The main reason why I signed up for email updates is because you offered your “Life Plan”  eBook if I did. I’m so happy I did because of the quality and relevant content you write.  I have some work to do.

  • http://www.extremejohn.com Extreme John

    Wow! That’s a very impressive increase. Thanks for sharing the details. I’ll surely be using these tips to generate more subscribers. This is gonna be a helpful source of information. I’ll get back to you on this Michael. 

  • Zoe Douglas-Judson

    Great post, really useful for a new starter blogger and first time author -thank for the valuable lessons & tips!

  • http://www.ivanhoesanchez.com Ivanhoe Sánchez

    I’m using WordPress.com so I’m stuck with standard forms.   I guess I’ll soon move to self-hosted to see more growth in my blog.  

    Thanks for all of your tips.  

  • http://twitter.com/CoachTheresaIF Theresa Ip Froehlich

    This is such a timely post. I’ve been thinking, and thinking, and thinking about organizing my subscribers’ setup. You may say I’ve been procrastinating. Michael, your post encouraged me to make this a priority.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great! I am so glad. Just do it!

  • Anonymous

    I enjoy having your posts delivered every morning to my inbox.  I also subscribe using Google Reader, but the e-mail system is much more convenient.  I subscribe to about 100 blogs, but don’t read but about 10% of the content delivered.  (The titles of the posts are majorly important, aren’t they?)  Yours is one, however, that I make a point of reading every day along with Seth Godin’s.  So it’s nice not to have to scan through 50 or 60 posts to find it.

    One downside is that I don’t read comments or comment myself as much since subscribing by e-mail.  That’s a shame because I’ve enjoyed getting to know other bloggers through the comments. 

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    You are so right about an email makes it easy to share. You just forward the post. I do that often with substantive material. I also do it sparingly. I get enough “This is so awesome!” emails that I don’t want to be that guy who sends out similar stuff that gets deleted. Your posts definitely get passed around.

  • http://diostube.com videos cristianos

    Very informative post, most of the time we tend to focus on traffic, subscriptions are a must and key as described by this article

  • http://www.petergrahamdunn.com Peter Graham Dunn

    Thanks, Michael!  Like the free gift idea.  We’re considering putting a $10 coupon on my blog available through our company website.  What’s your opinion on that?  Would probably put up a picture of a personalized pen so as to entice them on one potential option.  Also looking into Mailchimp, and the cost and effectiveness of that.

    Appreciate your sharing, and not hoarding your info!  It’s not what you GET out of life, it’s what you GIVE.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think that would be great. You might test it against actually offering a free product. People might be more responsive to a concrete product than an abstract gift. But you never know. That’s why testing is so important—and on a blog, relatively easy.
      Thanks for your kind words.

  • http://staffaction.blogspot.com staffaction

    Michael, great post.

    I’m getting set-up on MailChimp now…. I just have a personal blog though (like yours), what do you recommend for industry?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The same thing. MailChimp will scale with your size, though I don’t know the upper boundaries.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Michael,

    I am a new viewer, and and I have enjoyed reading your posts! I was wondering if you give any direction as to how you have added your social icons to each post. I have added one social icon, but I am interested in adding others beside it. Have you created a post about how to add social icons to each post? If you have, or you know the details of how to do this, I would be interested in hearing from you.

    Wishing you continued success!

    David Cosier
    djcosier@gmail.com
    http://www.fearhealing.com

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      If you are talking about the ones at the bottom of each post, I use a plugin called Sexy Bookmarks. Thanks.

  • Stacy Makes Cents

    Excellent post. Thanks for the helpful tips. In the new year, I plan to focus on growing my email subscription list. We’re going to be switching to AWeber. Sometimes paying for a better service is a good thing. :-)

  • Pingback: How to Get a Ton of New Subscribers to Your Blog | Roger R. Kohl, B2B CFO®()

  • Una Tiers

    Hi Michael:  Great ideas.  My friends come to a blog, read it and then put a like on FB.  How can I encourage them to leave a comment?  TIA
    Una Tiers

  • Anonymous

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your previous response! I was wondering if you could show me how you placed your facebook, twitter, and comments buttons at the top-right corner of your posts? I would like to do the same, but I am having trouble placing all three together in the upper-right hand corner of each post.

    David Cosier
    http://www.fearhealing.com

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, that is all custom coded. I paid a developer to do it.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks, Michael! I appreciate your response! Doing that kind of work is a challenge. Would it be possible to contact your developer, so that I can also find out the cost of doing this kind of work?

        David.
        http://www.fearhealing.com

  • Anonymous

    A bit late to the party on this post, catching up on blog posts… great information Michael as always; thank you. To affirm Michael’s point about him using his real email address, I replied to one of his posts about “20 Things I’m Grateful For” and heard back pretty darned quickly from someone on Michael’s staff about my reply. 

    Will try some of your tips Michael as I start from scratch in building a blogging base for my new business direction.

  • http://www.drillsetc.com Hockey Drills

    Thanks for the great article. We are in the process of starting a blog for our site and your information is going to be very helpful in doing things the right way.

  • http://twitter.com/timcroxson Tim Croxson

    can I asked which designer you used for the Mailchimp template? We already use MC, but with a website refresh, we will need a new template!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Actually, my web developer cobbled it together from the design of my site.

      • http://twitter.com/timcroxson Tim Croxson

        Thanks Michael. That makes sense I suppose! I will be asking the same of my designer anyhow.

  • Jennifer

    Very helpful info. I just signed up as I need new names.

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  • http://www.epoff.com/ Elizabeth

    Michael – This is a great article – it’s simple yet contains such thoughtful and direct ways to get subscribers to your blog.  I’m getting ready to start a new site in a few months and I’m going to start with these tactics right out of the gate.  Thanks!

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  • Clark

    Michael, can you recommend a developer to design a mailchimp branded email template?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I would check out StormyFrog.com. They are the ones who have done my work. Thanks.

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  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    No, I have not. Of course, maybe they just unsubscribed. I don’t send too many e-mails that aren’t blog posts.

  • http://www.thecraftsmanblog.com/ Scott Sidler

    Thanks for the advice! I’ve been contemplating wether I should add MailChimp or Aweber to my feedburner subscription. You made a confusing subject much clearer as always!

  • http://www.DavidASpecht.com/ David A Specht

    I scrolled through many of the comment but had a question that I didn’t see. Does MailChimp handle the giveaway and download of the ebook, or is it another plugin/widget? Thank you for the great posts and help for all of us.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, that is custom coding. Andrew, my developer, set that up. I am not exactly sure what was involved. Sorry.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, that is custom coding. Andrew, my developer, set that up. I am not exactly sure what was involved. Sorry.

  • http://www.valuesdrivenresults.com/ Curt Fowler

    I am in the process of setting up MailChimp for my business & I’m struggling (even with some outside help), to make my emails look anywhere near as good as yours! The social media buttons they give you are so plain compared to yours.

    Any tips or a referral to a designer would be greatly appreciated!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Great question, Curt. Andrew, my web developer, did this, so I’m afraid I can’t offer much help. I am copying him on my reply in case he wants to jump in. He is busily working on our new WordPress theme, so I don’t know if he will have a chance to respond. Thanks.

    • http://www.stormyfrog.com/ Andrew Buckman

      Email templates are admittedly quite a lot of work to “get right” – there are so many different email clients, webmail services (which can all be different under the various browsers), the prevalence of mobile devices, etc.

      I’m pretty swamped right now with the WordPress theme, but if you want to drop me a line at http://stormyfrog.com/contact we can chat about it at least if you’d like.

      Thanks!

  • Borngambler

    Hi micheal, your post was very informative for me. I am planning to buy a domain from someone which is already getting good enough traffic to take start with 300/day visitors. But i new into this .com industry i got your point about using aweber aur mailchimp but how do you put the signup process on web do they give you any interface code aur widget and where is those subscriber list is built up. If you can provide me a little more information i will be very very thankful to you.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      You’ll need to check with them. The procedures are different in each case. But, yes, they will provide you with the code. Thanks.

  • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

    No, I use MailChimp. It is all handled automatically, based on the RSS feed. I can’t tell you much more than that, because I didn’t set it up; my developer did.

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  • Sylvainvbolduc

    GOOGLE FEED APPS WILL KILL NEWSLETTERS
    Do you really take time to read newsletters ? Me no. Because email is for fast production. I tried many tipe to create a folder “read later” … IT DOS”T WORK.
    I need to read newsletter WHEN I HATE TIME . THIS MEAN ON MY TABLET. I tried with Flipboard but now I’AM TOTALY ADDICT TO FEED (the Android + Apple app)

    This is the future.  What do you think?

  • Ron Gravitt

    Those are some great ideas that I will apply to my blog.  Thank you! 
    http://www.countrifiedhicks.com
    http://www.facebook.com/countrifiedhicks

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  • http://www.modernekklesia.com/ Rodlie Ortiz

    What a wonderful post. I was really confused on how this whole thing actually works, but you just cleared it up…I think.

    Just to confirm:
    1. You use Feedburner only to supply you with an RSS feed for those that want that option
    2. Mailchimp for any email stuff. So there’s no Feedburner at all for email updates, right?

    Have you written how you transitioned those emails from feedburner to Mailchimp?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, that is correct.

      No, I have not written on the transition. I should probably do that. Thanks.

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  • April Bailey

    I guess it would have helped me if I knew what RSS was in the beginning. I actually just started using Feedly.com myself so that I can see everything I follow in one spot. Pretty awesome. I have set up my feed button. It is small though. I’ll research how to get a bigger, more noticeable one next. Check out my site and follow me! http://iblogoutloud.com

  • skt

    You helped me to see the bigger picture. I can no blog with confidence. Thanks

  • http://JonDHarrison.com/ Jonathan Harrison

    I could absolutely benefit from more subscribers; I’ll be intentionally working on applying these strategies.

  • rodlie

    Michael, I recently switched over to Mail Chimp. For a video, if someone clicks on the screen shot of the video that mail chimp sends out, it takes people to the original source of the video (like the youtube or vimeo page) as opposed to the blog post itself, but I noticed that yours doesn’t do that. Can you share how you got it to do that?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I am not sure. My developer, Andrew, may have done that by creating a special RSS feed. I am not sure.

    • http://www.stormyfrog.com/ Andrew Buckman

      We use a custom shortcode for youtube videos combined with a special RSS feed that powers our Mailchimp newsletters to do this. The shortcode generates different content depending on where it’s being displays. Basically, it sends Mailchimp a linked screenshot rather than the video itself, yet shows the video when you’re on the website.

      We did end up including this in the Get Noticed theme if you happen to be using it, but it’s certainly doable without if you have someone to do some custom programming.

      Hope that helps.

      • rodlie

        Thanks, Andrew! I’m not setup with Get Noticed yet. Maybe one day. I do have a programmer I’m working with, but he seems to be at a loss for how to do this. He proposed a solution, but said that it would be over written every time that wordpress made an update. That didn’t seem like the best solution to me. Is there an article online somewhere that I could pass along to him so that he could implement this? Thanks for any help you could provide!!

        • http://www.stormyfrog.com/ Andrew Buckman

          You are correct, absolutely no reason to do anything in a manner that will be overwritten with WP updates. Creating a custom shortcode is probably easiest, but it could also be done with just a custom feed. Sorry I don’t have anything written up to pass along.

      • rodlie

        Hmmm…my developer tried something, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Are there any developers you could recommend that would know how to implement a solution like this?

        • http://www.stormyfrog.com/ Andrew Buckman

          You can send me a contact request ( stormyfrog.com/contact/ ) if you’d like and I’ll quote it out, but I’ll be upfront that I might be slow to respond right now. I’m expecting my first child anytime now.

  • josephjyoung

    Excellent article Mr. Hyatt!

  • http://dougrasku.com/ Doug Rasku

    Great ideas, Michael. I am going to use some of these on my blog.

  • Dan Erickson

    I refuse to use popups at all, but I’ll hand it to you that your site is much less popup annoying than many.

  • http://www.realchaseadams.com/ Chase Adams

    Hey Michael! Great post.

    What are your thoughts on open drop rates from gmail? I’m curious to know how much the tabs update has affected your subscription open rates for gmail announced open rates have decreased 18% since last year.

    It’d be great to hear how it’s impacted you, or if you’ve even noticed an impact at all.

  • Pili

    I have loved this article Mr. Hyatt! Thanks a lot for sharing it, I found it on FB, it has definitely helped me a lot with my blogging and all that that has to do with it. It’s been a bit difficult for me find ideas that can move me forward since I am an Spanish speaking and a Spanish language blogger. I was eager to get tons of followers, but something inside me was telling that I really needed more subscribers.

    Thanks again!

  • http://www.praverb.net/ Patrick McNease

    This post is exactly what I needed to read. Thank you Michael.

  • Anthony

    Great post, Michael. I’m very interested in building my email list as I just launched my site. Two questions. First, I’d like to use my subscribers first names in my email response forms to them and I see you have a first name field in your sign-up form. Can you provide me with the name of this widget? Also, any suggestions for my messaging in here? I see you have a privacy statement, which I think is good. Any other thoughts? I don’t have a newsletter yet, but will be building one. Thoughts on both? Thanks…

  • thegrommom

    Michael–I have been following you for some time, and learning SO MUCH from you. (Thank you! :)) I have bought your Get Published course and am midway through it. I love it! I didn’t know the best place to ask you this, but am wondering about your suggestions for growing a subscriber list (I am a blogger.) You mentioned in a recent video that it is a good idea to simply offer a “resource list” but didn’t go very far into that. I am wondering if you mean a simple list of suggested reading materials, etc…Or what? If so, would it be ok/appropriate to use things that are for example through my Amazon Affiliate program? (books for example.) I hope you get this because I’m searching for more info on this and trying to get my Subscription Incentive put together now! :) ALOHA, and thank you so much!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, exactly. Something like this would work. (This is a page on my site, but I have converted it to a resource list I plan to offer next month as an incentive.)

      • thegrommom

        Thank you SO much!! I can’t tell you how much i appreciate what you do and who you are. Bless you.

  • http://www.praverb.net/ Praverb

    Great post Michael. I learned that I need to think outside of Feedburner. I was using Mailchimp when I was promoting my music but I stopped using it. Time to start utilizing it again. I love the idea of presenting a product as well. I need to create something worthwhile. Thank you Michael.

  • http://100computertricks.blogspot.com/ Mike

    I have learnt a lot from this this and I thank you for your education…

  • http://www.KirkDando.com Kirk Dando

    Thank you Michael. For #1 above do you determine what constitutes content worth reading by the information you get from your readers survey? If not, how do you determine what is burning in the minds and hearts of your readers so you can generate content worth reading.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, exactly. From my readers survey—and from interacting with my readers in the blog comments.

      • http://www.KirkDando.com Kirk Dando

        Thank you!

  • http://www.lachaineweb.com/ Jean-Christophe Dichant

    Michael, great tips ! I wonder if having a branded design is better than
    writing a simple text email ? Any feedback on this point ? Many
    bloggers send only text messages. I am really curious to know if you
    have any opinion or experience to share.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I have done extensive testing on my own list with this. I was convinced that the plain text messages would have higher open rates and click throughs. So I A/B tested them. The branded email messages consistently out-performed the plain text ones, even with brand new subscribers who had never seen the branded ones. As a result of the tests we did, we went back to branded emails.

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  • http://thesmallbusinessgeek.com/ John Cole

    Great points Michael…and still true today!